December 1 30 2015… Kenya's main power producer, KenGen, has enhanced output from hydro with the current heavy rains filling up the country’s major generating dams at the Seven Forks in Eastern Kenya.
Energy planners say all the dams in the cascade have attained their spilling levels while the main Masinga Dam is still two metres to spilling at 1054.32 meters above sea level (masl).
The water levels at Kiambere- which is the lowest dam in the cascade, stood at 700.23 masl and is spilling 46 cubic meters (or 46 million litres) per second. At Masinga, the highest dam level is attained when the water reaches full supply level of 1,056.5 masl, beyond which the dam spills.
KenGen Managing Director and CEO , Eng. Albert Mugo said increased inflows to the Seven Forks will raise contribution from the hydro mode of generation and lead to an optimum mix, adding that KenGen’s other power generating units were operating normally.
“Hydro generation is the cheapest mode of generation and therefore any increase in its uptake by the off taker will displace an equivalent amount of other sources from the system. This can only result in the stability and predictability in the price of electricity to consumers,” said Eng. Mugo.
KenGen has in recent weeks, following the onset of El Nino rains optimised on hydro resource deliberately stepping up hydro generation to minimize spillage.
KenGen has at the same time advised communities living downstream Kiambere dam or near the banks of the Tana River in Garissa and Garsen areas to move to higher grounds to mitigate any possible adverse effects of flooding.